People seek counseling for many different reasons. Sadly, there is a myth most people believe about counseling; which is you must be crazy to talk to a therapist. Unfortunately, due to this myth, thousands of people miss out on the wonderful opportunity counseling provides. If you are struggling with big decisions, are in crisis, feel stuck, want to understand yourself better, or just need support from an unbiased person, seeing a counselor might be very helpful.
1. You Are in Crisis.
Sometimes a transition includes crises such as unexpected pregnancies, abusive relationships, victimization, a trauma, an episode of mental illness, a new diagnosis of physical illness or disability, addiction, or any other stressful situation that has reached the breaking point. A counselor can help you find the resources you might need to help you through these crises. They can also help you make better decisions for yourself to ensure your safety and well-being. In other less serious crises such as loss of a loved one, the end of a relationship, job loss, it can be helpful to talk with a counselor who is unbiased and able to support you through the event and clear your thinking for your next steps.
2. You Need to Make a Big Decision.
Life is nothing more than a multitude of decisions. Sadly, some people have not been taught how to process through making these decisions. Often we do not have the support of family or friends who can give us accurate information that could completely change the decisions and outcomes we make. These decisions can be as big as deciding to place your child for adoption, having an abortion, abandoning your child, or parenting your child alone. It also includes leaving home and adjusting to adulthood, choosing a career, preparing for marriage, coping with an illness or disability, or transitioning to retirement. Career counseling, premarital/couples/family counseling, skill development (e.g., assertiveness training, anger management, stress management, parenting), finding resources, and identifying supports can be helpful during these transition periods
3. You Feel Stuck.
You might also come to counseling because you feel you have no one else to turn to for help. There are so many different issues that might be too big to take to family or friends. This can include simple things like overcoming bad habits or bad decision making. Maybe you keep repeating the same kind of bad relationships or make bad choices with negative consequences. Essentially you might feel powerless to make different decisions to change your situation and need support to learn new ways of coping.
4. You Need Support.
Counseling is also good at providing emotional and social supports. Counselors are aware of the community resources available near you and can help you connect. Everyone needs healthy relationships and strong support networks outside their family. A counselor can also recommend the appropriate group therapy that offers one a sense of belonging with other people who have similar experiences as you.
5. You Want to Understand Yourself Better.
There are some who want to make sense and find deeper meaning to their life. A person can go to counseling to explore past traumas, process feelings, understand how their life experiences have shaped who they are today and more.
As you can see, counseling is an opportunity to get support from an unbiased professional. You can get help in crisis or learn more about yourself and become a happier and healthier person. It isn’t a lifelong commitment or a place to be judged. Seeking the support of a counselor is a responsible decision one can make that helps them to move through a difficult spot in life. A good way to find a counselor or therapist in your area includes searching on www.psychologytoday.com. On the site, you can put in your zip code and see a listing of professionals in your area. The listing also identifies what types of issues each therapist works with, the types of insurance they take and contact information.